The accommodation of use of an audio recording device to record lectures allows students with disabilities to have an equal chance to receive and process information presented in class by supporting their notetaking needs. As with all accommodations, this accommodation is approved on an individual basis to ameliorate the student’s disability-related impacts within the classroom.
Methods of making an audio recording may include an audio recording device, a Livescribe pen, or the use of recording software on a laptop or a cellular phone (Sonocent, Audionote). Use of the accommodation of audio recording class lectures is subject to the following conditions:
Students who have been granted permission to audio record class lectures as an accommodation must agree to abide by each of these provisions. Audio recording outside of the typical classroom experience (including fieldwork, internships, clinicals, and etc.) may need to be discussed on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the instructors, programs, site and/or OAE as appropriate
Occasionally, instructors object to recording classes that involve a great deal of self-disclosure, personal reflection, or confidential discussions from students or presenters as part of the class, fearing that the recording device will inhibit students from sharing freely or would risk anonymity. However, it is important to remember that the use of the recording device is to substitute and support the student’s note taking ability. If these open discussions are not appropriate subject matter for any student to be taking notes, then it would be appropriate to make a general announcement to the class and ask all students to stop note-taking in addition to turning off any recording devices.
If instructors have questions or concerns regarding the recording of their class discussions, or the nature of the information presented and discussed, please consult with a Disability Advisor in the OAE.
If an instructor objects to the use of a recording device, it is typically because they maintain that their right to privacy of information discussed in the classroom is being violated or because there is a concern about a breach of copyright. However, the instructor’s right to privacy or concern over copyright does not override the student’s right to accommodation.
For more information on the rights of students approved for Audio Recording Lectures, please see the Office for Civil Rights – Q & A Regarding Audio Recording and the California Education Code 78907.
It is the responsibility of the Office of Accessible Education to see that the instructor’s concern for privacy and protection of copyright is respected and addressed while still assuring the availability of accommodation for the student. In some instances, instructors are reassured about this through the adoption of an agreement between the instructor and student that details the specific limited use of the recordings and arranges for their disposal when the purpose of the recording has been fulfilled. OAE can assist with the completion and oversight of such an agreement.